Interactive Graphic Design Project: Theories and Concepts

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Image by (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

After I had come up with some aims and goals for the project I decided to look into some media theory concepts. Some of my ideas came from the space itself. During the poster project one thing I noticed about how people use the space is that often people were interacting with technology on some level whilst moving through the space. The presence of screens in the space, were extremely competitive with our flat, unmoving poster graphics. People were also often checking their phones as they walked through the space, or doing work on their laptops whilst sat at the tables. The outcome of this is that people were often looking at screens whilst ignoring the world around them. One of the main challenges in presenting graphic design in the the modern day the space was competing with these glowing, moving screens. I decided to do some theory research to understand this phenomenon better. Our next big project is to come up with an interactive display in the Media school foyer in order to present a concept from digital media theory. I hope to use these concepts to come up with some ideas on what the theme of my display and the visual aesthetics.

The prevalence of these devices could be seen as an example of the concept of ubiquitous computing. As described by Greenfield (2006), in Everyware ubiquitous computing is where technology is omnipresent and seamlessly integrates itself into everyday life. Information processing has become a part of the human condition where we flit between the screen and visceral worlds. As detailed by Floridi (1999) since the early days of the internet every device that is connected to the internet sends and receives packets of data that are sent from device to device. This way each device becomes a node of the giant network of the web, by hosting data belonging to a sit. Through our dealings with the web, we have created a new way of navigating not only through through information, but also through contact with other people and with space.

As the space is a lobby, which is primarily designed for people to meet up with each other. This can be seen as analogous to social media sites on the web. Another aspect of ubiquitous computing is using the computer as an interface between humans. Often we use social media to facilitate face to face interaction but as explored by Turkle (2005) we create “hybrid self images” using social media to project an online identity for ourselves.This way of interacting facilitates a level of intimacy between people but it can also a level of distance as our online persona allows us to create a facade which can hide our true selves. In this way our phones and computers act as an extension of ourselves (Turkle, 2005). It can be said that we have become “cyborgs”where out interactions with the machine, and additionally the giant network which is the internet have become an essential part of the human condition.

Looking at the way we interact with technology and specifically how we use the internet on a day to day basis will be an interesting topic to explore visually in my next work.

Greenfield, A., 2006. Everyware. The dawning age of ubiquitous computing California: New Riders
Floridi, L., 1999. Philosophy and Computing. An Introduction London: Routledge.
Turkle, S., 2005. The Second Self. Computers and the Human Spirit Massachusetts: MIT Press

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